There's nothing better than affecting people through sport.

Daniel Worthington, Coach
Soccer Nova Scotia

Peter Parsons

Going all the way requires vision

As Nova Scotia’s goalball champion, when Peter Parsons runs down the court, the entire auditorium sits on the edge of their seats in anticipation. With one fowl swoop, the athlete launches the ball through the air, toward his opponent and into the net. The hometown crowd instantly erupts in silent celebration, but not a word is uttered. It’s all part of the game and goalball fans understand they must contain their excitement for the sake of their athletes.
“I play the sport of goalball, which is a sport for the blind,” explains Parsons.
Goalball is a highly competitive sport played primarily by blind and visually impaired athletes. It was initially developed in 1946 to rehabilitate veterans of the Second World War who had lost their sight. It quickly gained in popularity and in 1976 goalball became an official Paralympic sport.
The object of the game is to throw a three-pound goalball past the opposing team and into the net. The ball has bells in it, which requires the players to listen carefully, before perfectly timing their movements. For this reason the fans must overcome their urge to cheer and, instead, remain silent.
Although Parsons was only introduced to goalball six years ago, he certainly wasn’t new to athletics. Parsons had played various sports throughout his lifetime, but it’s goalball that has changed his life.“
In 2004 when I was working in Winnipeg, I had a workshop with a youth group one Saturday afternoon,” explains Parsons. “When the guest speaker arrived a few minutes late he apologized and explained that he just came from goalball practice. He started explaining the sport and said the best way to understand it would be to come out to the practice and watch it the following week.  He said ‘bring your sweats and give it a try.’”
After that first game, Parsons was hooked. And when he moved from Manitoba to Halifax he made sure that his new city had a goalball team. Parsons was thrilled to discover that not only did Halifax have a team, but also that he would be playing alongside Oliver Pye, a two-time national goalball champion.
“Oliver also started late in the sport and it gives me inspiration to achieve my goal despite my late start,” says Parsons.
Watching his teammate’s successes has encouraged Parsons to set his own athletic goals. He is determined to make the national team and bring home a gold medal for Nova Scotia.
“These goals will not come easy, nor would I want them to,” says Parsons, “I believe there's no substitute for hard work, [but] it helps to love what you do.”
Parsons’ love of the game requires countless hours of training, but until recently he struggled to find the time because he was too busy working to pay for it. While already working full-time at CNIB, Parsons spent his evenings doing odd jobs in an effort to pay for specialized training and needed gym time. Parsons did all this while also helping to raise his two-year-old son.
Since receiving funding from the Support4Sport program Parsons has taken his training to a whole new level. The funding allowed him to hire a professional trainer and to purchase home-gym equipment. With each new development, Parsons gets one step closer to his goal.
“Goalball is a Paralympic sport and it's very competitive to make the national team,” he says. “I now feel like I'm able to put forth the proper training to help me attain my goal with the funding and support behind me.”
It requires incredibly focus to go as far in sport as Parsons has gone, and this determined athlete doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
“There's a major parallel with sport and life in general.  You get out of it what you put in,” he says.
These wise words show that you don’t need to have sight, in order to have vision.


Halifax, NS
44° 39' 26.712" N, 63° 38' 43.854" W


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